Netflix is depicting a new story!

I saw a news today that Marvel have announced their forthcoming TV series Daredevil will premiere next year on Netflix. Needless to say, this is another big move for Netflix after their original series House of cards achieved success. I couldn’t help wondering, how does Netflix turn itself into the King of streaming companies.

I went to Netflix website and read its second-quarter earnings which has released on Jul 21st. It shows that the cost of revenue was $546 million and marketing expense was $65 million. Netflix is a subscription-based movie and TV program rental service that offers media to subscribers via internet streaming. With more members subscribed their streaming service, Netflix’s domestic streaming has grew from 22.7 million to 35 million since 2012 quarter 2. The numbers never lie, which means Netflix is able to turn the huge expenses into profit. And now it provide over 75000 movies to its member.

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Source:http://www.billboard.com/biz/articles/6175496/netflix-profit-music-streaming-success

I subscribed Netflix half year ago, at the beginning I just want to enjoy the one month free service, however, once you start a relationship with Netflix, you will never end it. For whom you have not start use Netflix yet, I have to say, you miss lots of funs. Check out some awesome service it has:

  • The first month is free
  • You can store the movies you watched on your account
  • Swift DVD delivery, usual take 1-3 business days
  • Watch new releases and old movies on your laptop anytime and anywhere.
  • Rent all the movies you want for one monthly fee
  • Blu-ray movie plans are also available

 

Check out the film list for TIFF 2014!

The Toronto International Film Festival is around the corner, now lets check out what films we will see this year!
I saw the news updated this morning, the full list of TIFF Midnight Madness, Masters, TIFF Docs, Vanguard lineups is here now, which one is your favourite?

MIDNIGHT MADNESS

  •  Apocalypse Jaume Balagueró, Spain, World Premiere
  • Big Game Jalmari Heleander, Finland/United Kingdom/Germany, World Premiere
  • Cub Jonas Govaerts, Belgium, World Premiere
  • Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films Mark Hartley, Australia, International Premiere
  • It Follows David Robert Mitchell, USA, North American Premiere
  • The Guest Adam Wingard, USA, Canadian Premiere
  • Tokyo Tribe Sion Sono, Japan, International Premiere
  • Tusk Kevin Smith, USA, World Premiere
  • What We Do in the Shadows Taika Waititi, Jemaine Clement, New Zealand/USA, Canadian Premiere

MASTERS

  • 1001 Grams Bent Hamer, Norway/Germany/France World Premiere
  • A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence (En duva satt på en gren och funderade på tillvaron) Roy Andersson, Sweden/Norway/France/Germany, North American Premiere
  • The Face of an Angel Michael Winterbottom, United Kingdom, World Premiere
  • The Golden Era (Huang jin shi dai) Ann Hui, China/Hong Kong, North American Premiere
  • Goodbye to Language 3D (Adieu au langage 3D) Jean-Luc Godard, France, North American Premiere
  • Hill of Freedom (Ja-yu-ui eon-deok) Hong Sang-soo, South Korea, North American Premiere
  • Leviathan Andrey Zvyagintsev, Russia, Canadian Premiere
  • Revivre (Hwajang) Im Kwon-taek, South Korea, North American Premiere
  • Timbuktu Abderrahmane Sissako, France/Mauritania/Mali, North American Premiere

TIFF DOCS

  • Beats of the Antonov Hajooj Kuka, Sudan/South Africa, World Premiere
  • I Am Here (Wo Jiu Shi Wo) Fan Lixin, China, International Premiere
  • Iraqi Odyssey Samir, Iraq/Switzerland/Germany/United Arab Emirates, World Premiere
  • Merchants of Doubt Robert Kenner, USA, Canadian Premiere
  • National Diploma (Examen d’Etat), Dieudo Hamadi, France/Congo, North American Premiere
  • National Gallery Frederick Wiseman, France/USA, North American Premiere
  • Natural Resistance Jonathan Nossiter, Italy/France, North American Premiere
  • Red Army Gabe Polsky, USA/Russia, Canadian Premiere
  • Seymour: An Introduction Ethan Hawke, USA, International Premiere

Premiere

  • Sunshine Superman Marah Strauch, USA/Norway/United Kingdom, World Premiere
  • Tales of the Grim Sleeper Nick Broomfield, USA/United Kingdom, World Premiere
  • The Look of Silence (Senyap) Joshua Oppenheimer, Denmark/Indonesia/Norway/Finland/United Kingdom, Canadian Premiere
  • This Is My Land Tamara Erde, France, World Premiere
  • The Yes Men Are Revolting Laura Nix and the Yes Men, USA, World Premiere

VANGUARD

  • Alleluia Fabrice Du Welz, France/Belgium, North American Premiere
  • The Duke of Burgundy Peter Strickland, United Kingdom, World Premiere
  • Goodnight Mommy (Ich seh, Ich seh) Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala, Austria, North American Premiere
  • Hyena Gerard Johnson, United Kingdom, International Premiere
  • Luna Dave McKean, United Kingdom, World Premiere
  • Over Your Dead Body Takashi Miike, Japan, International Premiere
  • Shrew’s Nest (Musarañas) Juanfer Andrés and Esteban Roel, Spain, World Premiere
  • Spring Justin Benson/Aaron Moorhead, USA, World Premiere
  • They Have Escaped JP Valkeapää, Finland, North American Premiere
  • Waste Land Pieter Van Hees, Belgium, World Premiere
  • The World of Kanako (Kawaki) Tetsuya Nakashima, Japan, International Premiere

A detail list will be revealed soon! Be patient=)

Source:http://variety.com/2014/film/news/toronto-film-fest-midnight-madness-masters-docus-vanguard-programs-1201270906/

Flashback to TIFF 2012

The best thing of being a journalist is you could access to various events or Galas with Media Pass. I was lucky to engage in “2012 Toronto International Film Festival” (TIFF) when I was still working in a media company, and I’m honored to interview the Chinese renown director Chen Kaige at the media conference about his movie “Caught In The Web” with other medias. This flashback just jumped into my mind this morning when I saw a news about TIFF for this year. And I would like to share this memorable interview with all of you!

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Chen was really sharp when answering the questions raised by us, One of the questions was about his feeling of film festivals, and he responded, “Some filmmakers make films for awards and film festivals, but how about your audience? Of course the reason I make film is because its important to me, then for audience. Film festivals is just a big party for me.” And I also remember Chen is asked of his film in the role of China’s changing landscape, and his answer was impressed, “Most American films are about future, Chinese films are more about past. So I couldn’t help wondering why not making a film about the present, and talk about the contemporary life in China. I hope ‘Caught In The Web’ brings a very interesting new image of China to our  audiences.” The movie Caught In The Web revealed the reality under the fast evolve of the internet and news media. A insignificant actions can, when recorded and transmitted to an audience of millions, be taken out of context and incite a torrent of rage from the anonymous citizens of the web. Its a universal topic and Chen brought it to the screen. Chen is part of the “Fifth Generation” of Chinese filmmakers who put Chinese cinema on the map in the 70s and 80s. His film Farewell my Concubine won the Palme D’Or at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival and  he is one of the most influential director in China.

This year, there are two Chinese movies going to be premiere at TIFF, and I will still support them no matter with Media Pass or not. Anyone would like to join me?

Reference:http://arts.nationalpost.com/2013/06/07/qa-chen-kaige-director-of-farewell-my-concubine-talks-about-the-state-of-chinese-cinema/

“Lucy” overpowered “Hercules” at the box office!

Its a big surprise that the movie “Lucy” is premiered at NO.1 at the box office this week, racked up $44 million compared to “Hercules’” $29 million bow this weekend.It’s a big win for Scarlett Johansson who played Lucy in this movie. Its another movie about transcendence and her line “I’m everywhere” is really impressed. Johansson shared her feeling about this spectacular movie via the interview, now lets figure out how does she framed this character by her outstanding performance, and why this movie could achieve such a success.

Movie Review:

 

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Tight budget? Filming in Canada!

Due to a similar cityscape, many movies and TVs set in cities like Chicago or New York City are actually filmed in Toronto and other cities in Canada, the most familiar one to me is “Resident evil: Retribution” and “Suits”. But what’s the real reason drive producers to Canada?

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Everyone knows that raise funding is the most headache part of filming, the good news is, Ontario’s Liberal government has been support movie and TV production by giving them million dollars a year in tax subsidies. Many of the film tax credits available are refundable. That means film companies can wipe away their tax payable and then receive a cheque from the public treasury for the remaining value of the credit. Base on my research, $1.5 billion in tax subsidies has gone to movie and TV projects since 2008, against $6.2 billion in production spending. Lower taxes on businesses like movie production do create additional economic activity because of incentives matter. Thats why Canada is so called the paradise of filming.

 The best spot of filming in Toronto is Downtown area, especially the Financial distract. My friend is working at KPMG DT office, which is the TV show “Suits” shooting set. And he can see American flag on the poles,fake New York Subway station and bus everyday during shooting period. He was joking and said: “ Breaking news, now I actually work in New Yorkand I’m not bragging, check my Facebook photos!”

Shooting1
A fake subway station in Toronto Downtown for filming

 

Shooting2
Its weird to see a sole New York bus on Yonge st.

Allegedly, Adam Sandler as Director and his production team of movie ‘Pixels’ is here in Toronto . The movie is about video game experts who are recruited by the government when popular ’80s video game characters attack New York City. And it will blend live action and computer-generated images, will be shot at locations in Toronto and at Pinewood Toronto Studios.

Projects scheduled shooting in Toronto
Projects scheduled shooting in Toronto

Reference:http://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2014/06/08/ontario_liberals_pushed_film_and_tv_subsidies_despite_internal_concern.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_films_shot_in_Toronto

http://www1.toronto.ca/static_files/economic_development_and_culture/docs/currently_filming.pdf

Tiny Times is the Chinese version “Great Gatsby”?

“Do you know ‘Tiny Time 3’ is premiered at NO.1 at the box office this week, and it took in 3 billion yuan (about 50 million dollar) in three days! ” My friend in China told me this breaking news on Wednesday this week. Please be surprise, because this is not a Hollywood movie, instead it was directed by a Chinese renown young writer-turned-director Jingming Guo. And the“Tiny time” trilogy has became the most controversial movie in Chinese movie market these years due to its ridiculous story, extravagance production and unbelievable box office.

Why I bring up this movie here? Because some reviewers somehow compare it with my favourite movie “Great Gatsby”. These two movies are based on the popular novels, and they  both established luxury brand garment such as Gugicc Parda, D&G, Bottega Veneta on the big screen. Gatsby featured 40 bespoke Miu Miu and Prada 1920s cocktail designs, each of them are far too classic to represent the fashion in 20’. In “Tiny time”, the actress Mi Yang wore the exclusive BV red longuette which is allegedly the only one in the world. Art Director Wei Huang of the movie “Tiny Time” revealed in a interview that they prepare 7000 fancy clothes for this movie. wow….And if you are still impressed by the stunning closet in “Sex and City”, the one in “Tiny Time” will shock you.

Great Gatsby:

gatsby women costumes 650

Tiny Time:

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So why the movie like Tiny Time received so many criticism? I have watched the predecessors of“Tiny Times”, and frankly “I’m too old for this”. I agree that media coverage use the word avarice to describe it and the narrative logic of the story drag down the whole movie. But the director is really wise to rely on pretty faces and ultra-glossy production design to dazzle the eye. In response to Tiny Times 3’s opening, Xuan Lang, an associate professor at Shanghai Ocean University, wrote the review: “The reality is that many people [in China] are still poor, with too little to eat and not enough money to afford school. Celebrating decadence could encourage many bad social habits, from waste and corruption to a dismal future for our country.”  I have to say, the worship of wealth drive so many audience to this movie, from this point, ‘Tiny Time” can not be compared with Great Gatsby, at least, Gatsby is a cautionary tale regarding the American Dream, whereas Tiny Time is just a nonsense drama…

If any of you curious about “Tiny Time” please check the trailer here, and don’t worry about the language, its never the issue =)

Reference:http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-07-18/china-s-controversial-director-guo-jingming-scores-another-box-office-hit-with-tiny-times-3

“Dracula Untold”–Behind the scene

Another vampire movie is coming—“Dracula Untold”. This is a sequel movie base on the origin Dracula story which I really am looking forward into it! Sorry Edward, seems Dracula is about to take away your crown as a vampire.

The movie has not yet released, but the reveal of behind the scene is already here. I Hope there are some new story lines to explore the folklore and mythology of Dracula once again.   Cheers!

Explore the mystery of Screenplay!

 Screenwriting is the primary step of a movie, and due to the intense competition in movie industry, the script has to be outstanding to seize the chance of seeing it on the big screen.
My friend Sisi, she is a part-time screenwriter for movies and stage plays, meanwhile she founded her own Music Radio in China. She is really supportive when I told her about my blog and she thought screenplay is a wonderful topic for it. “Most people equate script to novel, but the truth is, screenplay has its predefined format. A formal script is normally 90-120 pages in length which outline audio,dialogue,aside, behaviour etc on the white paper in single space. Each page of the script need to be equaled to one minute of filming time. ” Sisi briefly introduced the screenplay to me at the start, “ For someone who is interested in screenwriting but lacks of professional experience, my advice is read some sample script before move the first step. ”
I read a chapter of “friends” script once online, and I found that the dialogue was really fleshy and the action is portrayed specific base on different personality of characters. So I asked Sisi how to develop a script which is not mediocre and novelized?She said,“ the screenwriter has to keep logical about relationship, plot and interaction between each characters run through the whole script. And the subject need to be lucid, otherwise no one could understand it. One more thing, don’t worry about the accuracy of details when you sketch the script, but it need to be amended for thousand times after its done to ensure the whole story make sense. I still remember the comment of my first script for college class,  the professor wrote: the story is fascinating, but part of it stick out in the audience’s mind as meaningless, cut away all the unnecessary explanation and dialogue to keep the script readable, otherwise, it drags the whole story down.”  
I hope you enjoy the sharing from my friend, and I found some sample script for your further understanding. Let me know if you have any good ideas of screenplay, maybe one day it will appear on the big screen! Wink =)
 sample-screenplay-page
Reference:http://www.writersstore.com/how-to-write-a-screenplay-a-guide-to-scriptwriting/

Upcoming Movies: Pick one and GO!

Top Recommended: Hercules

Funny thing I found on Dwayne Johnson’s twitter, he wrote,  “Twitter officially broke. Broke down. Side of the road. Turn out the lights, cause the party is over. Called the Twitter tow truck and had to tow it back to Silicon Valley.”  Turns out, Johnson start posting his workout picture on twitter since he need to show perfect muscle in the movie “Hercules”. But he didn’t expect almost 7.3 million people are following him on twitter and crush happened.He jokingly insists that even Twitter CEO Dick Costolo was called in to repair the damage due to overuse.“Hercules” bows on Jul 25th, I wondering does all the 7.3 million followers will show up in the theatre to support his workout result? lol Personally, I’m looking forward to watch it! 

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Reference: https://twitter.com/TheRock/media

Persecuted

The Purge: Anarchy

 And So It Goes

 

 

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